When Bernie Dieter gets her gang of punks, freaks and weirdos together you can be sure you're in for a night of rousing cabaret, burlesque and circus. With a number of rotating guest artists, Little Death Club allows everyone in the spiegeltent to shed their inhibitions and simply celebrate everything that makes them distinct and unique.
Dieter's displays perfect levels of charm and sassiness as our host, with her audience banter remaining playful and cheeky as she coaxes one person to let out a loud orgasm to show his appreciation of the performance. Her original songs, including catchy titled gems like "Lick My Pussy" and "Dick Pic", leave everyone wanting to hear more of her distinct voice and unexpectedly relatable lyrics.
Each act showcases some wonderful talents but the highlight of the evening is Beau Sargent's aerial hoop/contortion routine paired with a touching song performed by Dieter on the difficulties of staying true to yourself. Hoops and contortion may be a staple of circus shows these days, but Sargent's combination of the two is utterly mesmerising and with Dieter's powerful vocals, it's impossible to not be swept away by the visual and aural beauty. On a lighter note, drag queen Polly Filla's telephone inspired act, which incorporates audio recordings of various songs, films and TV programs around telephones and phone calls is brilliantly comical and full of surprises.
While the performances themselves offer plenty of thrills and gasps, the show comes to an end quite suddenly and you can't help but wish there had been some sort of build up to an affecting finale. It might be a logistical nightmare to organise given that there is a rotating door of artists, but a big number that involved all the performers and got the audience moving or cheering would help in strengthening the message of the show.
Through the variety of performers and acts, Little Death Club celebrates and embraces everything that is different and encourages us to keep doing so as we exit the spiegeltent and enter the real world once again. Hopefully a little bit of Dieter and her friends' attitudes and positivity will remain with us as we make our way back out into the Melbourne night.
Venue: Wonderland Spiegeltent, Fed Square, The Paddock, Melbourne.
Season: until 19 October | Sun 8:00pm, Fri 7:00pm, Sat 7:00pm and 9:30pm
Tickets: $59 Full (Premium) | $49 Full | $45 Conc
Bookings: Wonderland Spiegeltent